It’s so cool, I want to stay there for the rest of my life!
Ellie, aged 8
“Wheatfen Forest School is adventurous, creative, boundless, limitless, wholesome and timeless – all the things childhood should be made of!! In a world full of conformity Forest School morphs to allow for individuality and freedoms often not afforded to children in other places.”
“It is a day they look forward to each fortnight. We suggested that we stop going and our children refused to stop. They suggested how we might change our week and our family budget to make sure we could continue attending”
“I quickly realised that Forest School is brilliant therapy for parents, as well as great fun for children! Taking two hours out of a frantic day to explore a beautiful wood with my toddler, marvel at interesting toadstools, hunt bugs and sit quietly warming our hands at a campfire is the perfect antidote to stress. Happy toddler, happy, relaxed Mummy!”
“My seven year old daughter has dyspraxia and dyslexia which has affected her school work and self-esteem. Whilst supported by her school, the work load has been hard for her and she’s complained about ‘feeling stressed’, feeling ‘stupid’ and been school refusing at the tender age of seven.
Wheatfen forest school has provided the perfect antidote, with the freedom to truly be a child again, climb trees, make friends, learn about self-regulated boundaries, gain new skills and knowledge away from the pressures traditional learning environments can bring to special educational needs children. She loves that nobody at Forest school knows that she gets her ds and bs back to front in English and finds maths tricky.
In the few short months since attending Wheatfen Forest school I’ve seen my daughter’s confidence soar. After her first session she came bounding out of the forest and said ‘Mum, I’ve finally found something I like doing, I’m good at it, I’d like to go to keep going to forest school for a long time.’ I was so happy because it was the first time I had heard her say something positive about herself and her abilities in a long time.”
“My son and I have BOTH benefited from Forest School. I have watched him thrive on the combination of fun, adventure and learning and grow as a result of increased independence, positive risk taking, being trusted to act responsibly and to help out with the younger children.
Knowing that he is in a safe and supportive environment has helped me to loosen the reins a little, to give him space to do things his own way, make his own choices and enjoy many of the freedoms that I took for granted as a child, but which I have been reluctant to let him experience.
He has always struggled with being the youngest in his year, but, as a result of his Forest School experience, is going to high school in September more mature, confident and considerate (and I’m slightly less neurotic)!”
“It was a big step for our child, being very shy, to come to the Forest School group not knowing you or any of the other children, but he has loved every minute and we put this mostly down to you and your kind and encouraging nature!”
“I just wanted to let the school know how much my daughter has enjoyed forest school on a Tuesday morning. She struggles with confidence and anything unfamiliar is really daunting, but the introduction was delivered so exceptionally well, after the first session she couldn’t wait to go again. She seems to have gained a belief in herself that she can do things she’s a bit scared of and work with others to achieve what she wants to achieve. She has thoroughly enjoyed every single session and significantly grown in confidence. A massive thank you!”
Parent, Surlingham School
I feel I have learned a lot about the children. I have loved having this time to hear about their passions and what they would like to achieve. You get a better insight without the classroom constraints.
All the children are equal at forest school, their academic ability doesn’t matter. Everyone has been able to succeed at the same tasks at the same level. As a result, they seem to be more confident and less afraid to make mistakes. They have also become more resilient and creative with their ideas.
The children have all enjoyed the forest school sessions and have interacted differently… listening to each other, taking turns and most importantly being kind to one another and their environment. It has improved their relationships at school.
Seeing them encourage each other and support one another so that they can achieve is wonderful. The moments spent with the children during forest school make me feel very lucky to be teaching.
Teacher, Rockland St Mary Primary School
“My 10 year old son has gained a huge inspiration and love for working with tools and wood. As a result he has spent hour upon hour outside building dens, bird boxes, mallets amongst many other projects. He has also developed a genuine passion for wildlife and loves to explore the environment in which we live. In a time when many 10 year old boys are only interested in computer games it means a lot.”
“My eldest has been able to prove to me that she can act responsibly and maturely. After telling me that she had used a knife at forest school, I let her use one at home… then light fires and I’ve generally stopped trying to wrap her in cotton wool. Forest school showed me that I could let her go a bit more, and we’re both happier.”
“Since starting Forest School this year, our daughter has become noticeably more confident and enthusiastic about playing outdoors and exploring the wild places around our village. She loves the Saturday sessions so much she suggested an overnight camp-out. Wheatfen Forest School responded brilliantly, and 14 children had an adventurous time camping in Wheatfen wood, to their great excitement and enjoyment. Like all the children, our daughter was involved in the planning of the weekend, and under Rose’s excellent leadership, they were really able to feel this was ‘their’ adventure.”
“Forest school has been invaluable to my daughter. She had a shaky start in life, and only two years ago was completely introverted. Since attending forest school her confidence has grown remarkably and she is also much more knowledgeable about and interested in nature, which as a Pagan parent, I value greatly. I cannot thank you enough!”
“My granddaughter and I have attended Tiny Acorns every week since it began and it has proved a wonderful uplifting experience for us both. Rose is a fount of knowledge about everything to do with the forest. She makes us so welcome, is always enthusiastic, listens to what we have to say and is so encouraging to all the children following the many pursuits that are on offer.
The children have learned life skills such as how to make a fire successfully and cook food on the embers. Together we have constructed a wood store out of what the forest gives us. We have shared companionship, laughter, food and drinks around the fire and the children have begun to learn about teamwork being beneficial and enabling larger logs to be carried jointly.
The Forest School goes from strength to strength and we hope it will be here for a long time to come.”